The Skinny on Intermittent Fasting
The Big Deal about Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent Fasting is not actually true fasting. Instead it is a pattern of eating where you restrict the amount of time that you spend eating on a daily basis and not the amount of food you consume. Of course, it is better to choose healthier fare and just the amount your body needs, yet, studies show that the same amount of food eaten in a 6-8 hour window over a 12 hour eating window has significant health benefits. I have been helping patients lose weight via the HCG Diet protocol in my private medical practice for 15 years and I can tell you that the intermittent fasting is the “gold standard” for maintaining weight loss.
Intermittent fasting or IF for short will encourage your body to use fat for fuel. All too often, we eat beyond our means and the body is then forced to store the excess food energy as fat without ever needing to use it. It was only 150 years ago that we did not have the predictability of knowing you would eat tomorrow. Today, we eat constantly and we are simply not genetically designed for this. However, we are designed to take food energy and store it as fat for the famine that just never comes in the modern day to developed nations.
Our bodies are miraculous in so many ways! Our bodies are designed with many ways of creating energy! We can use glucose in the form of carbs we just ate or in the form of glycogen that we have stored in our muscle cells. Glycogen is like the “checking account” of the body. It is instant and available. Then, we have our fat stores. Fat stores are like the “savings account” in the body. If we eat all the time and our “checking account” (glycogen stores) are full then we never need to dip into the “savings account” (fat stores). When we subscribe to the daily practice of intermittent fasting the body will utilize glycogen (if the fasting window is long enough) and then have access to our fat stores to utilize for fuel.
Choosing your Eating Window
When you begin intermittent fasting, you may move into it slowly or jump in all at once. Ideally, if you can get your eating into a 6-8 hour window and then fast for 16-18 hours that is perfect. You can choose whatever time of day feels best for you. For example, I like to eat between 1:30 and 7:30 and keep a 6 hour eating window. Choose your time and try to be consistent with it most days. I have seen greater benefit in those who follow an IF pattern of eating daily without taking days off. Of course, special occasions and vacations can be a time when you may choose to open up your eating window. There are many who choose a 1-4 hour eating window and that works well too. Some may also choose to do a 24 hour fast 1 or more times per week! Explore! Find what feels good for you! I encourage my patients to stick with a 6-8 hour eating window and to try a 24 hour fast once per week (dinner to dinner works well).
In your eating window there are no caloric or food restrictions. However, if you want to boost fat burning, lower inflammation and be the healthiest version of YOU I would suggest omitting sugar, inflammatory grains, processed foods and have limited dairy and fruit in your diet.
In your fasting window, you can have water, unsweetened black coffee and unsweetened tea. Please have nothing caloric during this time. It is best to leave out the sweet flavor. If sweet is something you need, go ahead and try using stevia only in the fasting window. As soon as blood sugar is elevated during the fasting window you are out of the fasted state and the benefits will stop.
Can I exercise in my fasting window? YES!! In fact, this is highly recommended.
What Happens in the Fasting Window?
Somewhere between 14 and 18 hours of fasting the body begins to upregulate many metabolic processes. One of these is fat burning. Our fat stores begin to break down into free fatty acids for our bodies to utlize for fuel. This is why once we have adjusted to intermittent fasting we do not feel hunger and in fact most people report an uplifted energy. Food is not our only fuel source, we can also utilize what we have stored as fat and literally be fueled from within. In fact, the human design is to have periods where food is plentiful–> eat–> store fat–> have periods where food is scarce –> fast–> burn stored fat for fuel.
Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
- The ability of the body to burn fat gets a boost
- The body is not in a fat storage mode
- The body begins to “clean house” and turns on autophagy, a process of breaking down and recycling old cells
- Decreases inflammation
- Boosts the immune system
- Gives you a FREEDOM FROM FOOD and more time in your day!
- Decreases the prevalence of many chronic diseases
NOTE: Fasting is not recommended for children, women who are breast feeding, women who are pregnant and those who are under weight.best hcg diet portland, Body Composition Analysis, Eating Healthy, HCG Diet Beaverton, HCG Diet Gresham, HCG Diet Oregon, hcg diet portland, HCG Diet Portland Oregon, HCG Weight Loss Portland, Weight Loss Portland Oregon